Great Migration

Great Migration

The Great Migration

The Great Migration was the relocation of more than 6 million African Americans. They relocated from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest, and West between the years of 1916 to 1970. This event had a huge impact on urban life in the United States. African Americans were driven from their homes in the South by unsatisfactory economic opportunities and extremely harsh segregationist laws. Many blacks headed north. There was dire need of industrial workers which first arose due to the First World War. Chicago, New York and other major cities witnessed their black populations increase rapidly. Migrants were forced to deal with competition for living space and poor working conditions. They also had to deal with widespread racism and prejudice. African Americans, during the Great Migration, began to build a new place for themselves in public life by actively confronting economic, political, and social challenges. They were creating a new black urban culture that would exert influence for decades to come.

White supremacy was greatly restored in the South after the post-Civil War Reconstruction ended in 1876.the segregationist policies known as Jim Crow became the law of the land. Southern blacks had to make their living working in the land as part of the sharecropping system. This offered little in the way of economic opportunity for the blacks. The Ku Klux Klan had been officially dissolved in 1869, so it continued underground. Intimidation, violence, and even lynching was not an uncommon practice in the Jim Crow South.

After World War 1 broke out in Europe in 1914 there was a shortage of industrial laborers in the North, Midwest, and West. With the war production kicking into high gear, recruiters enticed African Americans to move north. Black newspapers, particularly the Chicago Defender, published advertisements showing the opportunities available in the cities of the North and West. The newspapers also included first...

Similar Essays